Bible Reading: 2 Peter 3:10-18

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:10-12)

In a prayer meeting for a youth convention, Rev. Stephen Tong once shared his burden for youth ministry. He said, “youth are unlimited. They have unlimited opportunities to grow and become an influence to edify others one day.” His deep concern for youth ministry is because our enemy takes young people seriously. The devil is all out trying to stray our generation away from Christ through secularism and worldly culture. Who is fighting to bring our generation back to Christ?

As young people, there are only two options. The first is to be influenced and follow the ways of the world. The second is to be an influencer who brings people to the truth of Christ. Which person are you? In the future, will you be a follower of the world, or will you be a witness to the way of Christ? The decisions we make today will have a significant impact on who we become tomorrow. 

Rev. Tong also shared distressing updates on the current situation of youths around the world and especially in Indonesia. As a result of the Covid pandemic, for many, this has meant online school and online church. While it was the best we could do, this was not a period of meaningful education because the distractions at home and the lack of a physical teacher made learning very hard. Boredom, stress and anxiety hit many hard. Because of these things, pornography usage has skyrocketed. The lack of a physical church community has led to a downfall in hearing the word of God — our only strength.

What’s worse is third-world or developing areas. Across the board in Indonesia, 70% of youth did not attend school or church for at least a year and a half. Rural areas did not have facilities such as zoom or video conferencing. With the pandemic lockdowns, children and teens could not go to school, and they could not go to church either. They became wild, rebellious and lost — a huge spiritual blow by our adversary towards our generation with rippling effects yet to be seen.

There is a need more than ever for the gospel in our generation. When we talk about the gospel, it is not just a get-to-heaven ticket. The gospel is the whole counsel of God. It is the entirety of God’s Word. We constantly need to gospel every day so that Christ’s kingdom can be expanded in our lives. I am thankful that there are those who have a genuine burden to serve the future generation, such as Rev. Stephen Tong. 

However, Rev. Tong and many faithful servants of God are from generations above us. Sooner or later, we’ve got to take on the baton to serve our generation with the gospel. The need and the harvest will always surround us. It’s just a matter of when we will wake up to this emergency. 

Our days are short. This life is short. Christ is coming back soon. Who amongst our generation is willing to bear the cross? Who amongst us is willing to fight sin and put it to death in our lives? Who is willing to put on radical obedience? Who is willing to surrender their own desires to live for Christ’s? Who is willing to go where God sends? Who is willing to grit their teeth and suffer where God calls them to suffer? Who is willing to work hard for the sake of the gospel? May the Lord have mercy upon us, and may He rise up His servants in due time. 

O Lord, please have mercy on us. None of us is worthy of being used by You. Please forgive us. We are all a disgrace before You. We are stubborn, ignorant, proud and too slow to obey You. Please give us Your grace. Empower us by Your Spirit to live for You in this increasingly evil age. Change us and plant humble hearts in us. We ask for the privilege to serve You and to live for You from a young age. I know we ask for too much. But Lord, have mercy on us and use our lives for something great in Your kingdom. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.